Rip Rowan Employs True Precision 8 Mic Pre at Own Studio

Jan 5, 2004 12:00 PM, Editors


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Rip Rowan splits his days between his editor-in-chief duties at and operating his new Dallas-based recording studio, Pleasantry Lane. Recent music projects include scoring with composer/recording artist Rhett Miller for the ABC-TV sitcom I'm With Her, a new CD by Salim Nourallah and a new Deathray Davies opus on Idol Records.

When Rowan planned Pleasantry Lane Studios, he conceptualized a control room without the central focus of the traditional large console. "I wanted it mixer-less, really a low footprint design. And I wanted minimal rack gear, because I've been trying to move away from using that equipment altogether. As opposed to a large mixing console or even a control surface, I wanted to center the entire workspace around the computer DAW and a single keyboard because I'm very comfortable with this working arrangement," Rowan said.

True Systems Precision 8 has recently been coming into use at Pleasantry Lane in a unique way. Rowan continued: "I've got a small collection of outboard mic preamps I could have used, but when you are running mixer-less, you really need a good utilitarian, multichannel mic preamp always at the ready for any and all recording tasks. I wanted a unit with a good price-to-performance ratio and, more importantly, a good, clean, transparent, uncolored and natural sound. I require it to be sonically out of the way.

"All things considered and after hours of A/Bs," Rowan continued, "I liked the P8 best. It's very quiet, interacted nicely with the mics in my collection and it sounded like there wasn't a pr-amp at all—like a straight wire with gain. The P8 had great transient response with an extended but not overly bright top end—transparent with nonexistent noise and wide imaging—most noticeable with drum overhead recording."

Rowan's P8 is his utility preamp for recording everything from drums to vocals to quiet acoustic instruments. "Unless I'm looking for a certain coloration from a mic preamp, the P8 continues to be my workhorse. I especially like to use the M/S decode feature when doing a minimalist drum kit recording or just recording a stereo room track. I use my pair of Audio-Technica AT-4050s for this and get great results. Using the P8 with my DAW is a pleasure since you can calibrate the metering on the unit with the DAW's meters; peaks and overloads will correspond exactly where you want them on the computer's metering. This way, you always have accurate metering no matter what screen(s) you have up on the computer interface. I also like running the P8 with lots of headroom left in the unit. With a low-noise, high-headroom preamp like the P8 paired with a modern 24-bit converter set, it is now possible to make very high-resolution digital recordings that maintain maximum headroom throughout the signal chain. Thanks to the P8, my digital recordings never sounded so good."

The Precision 8 is designed and built by Sunrise Engineering, a design and build manufacturer located in Tucson, Ariz. Neumann distributes True Systems in the U.S. For more information, visit Neumann at

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